LOOKING AHEAD: CHANGING THE BLUELINE

Jason Gregor
December 18 2013 11:37AM

This is what the Oilers blueline and depth chart looked like at the start of the season. It looks even worse now with the trade of Ladislav Smid, but it is obvious that the Oilers D corps will look significantly different at the start of next season. Nick Schultz, Corey Potter, Anton Belov and Denis Grebeshkov are unrestricted free agents, and Belov is the only one they might re-sign.

Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Taylor Fedun and Philip Larsen are restricted free agents. The first three will likely be re-signed, while Larsen should be let go.

How will Craig MacTavish re-build his blueline, and who should he be looking to sign?

We can all agree the Oilers need a top-pairing D-man, but the only way to get one is through free agency, or by trading one of the four skilled forwards.

Here is the list of the top 45 pending UFAs. Many of these guys will sign with their teams before July, so the list will be shorter, but it will give you an idea of who is available in free agency. I listed them by age. 

Player  Team  Age  Cap Hit 
Bouillon, Francis  MTL  38 $1,500,000
Mitchell, Willie  LAK  36 $3,500,000
Robidas, Stephane  DAL  36 $3,300,000
Markov, Andrei  MTL  34 $5,750,000
Phillips, Chris  OTT  35 $3,083,333
Morris, Derek  PHX  35 $2,750,000
Sarich, Cory  COL  35 $2,000,000
Weaver, Mike  FLA  35 $1,100,000
Tallinder, Henrik   BUF  34 $3,375,000
Orpik, Brooks  PIT  33 $3,750,000
Hainsey, Ron  CAR  32 $2,000,000
Alberts, Andrew  VAN  32 $600,000
Klesla, Rostislav  PHX  31 $2,975,000
Komisarek, Mike  CAR  31 $700,000
Guenin, Nate  COL  31 $600,000
Engelland, Deryk  PIT  31 $566,667
Pitkanen, Joni  CAR  30 $4,500,000
Greene, Matt  LAK  30 $2,950,000
Gilbert, Tom  FLA  30 $900,000
Colaiacovo, Carlo  STL  30 $750,000
Girardi, Dan  NYR  29 $3,325,000
Stuart, Mark  WPG  29 $1,700,000
Ranger, Paul  TOR  29 $1,000,000
Benoit, Andre   COL  29 $900,000
Smith, Derek  CGY  29 $775,000
Sulzer, Alexander  BUF  29 $725,000
Strachan, Tyson  WAS  29 $550,000
Phaneuf, Dion  TOR  28 $6,500,000
Meszaros, Andrej   PHI  28 $4,000,000
Quincey, Kyle  DET  28 $3,775,000
Stoner, Clayton   MIN  28 $1,050,000
Kostka, Mike  CHI  28 $625,000
Niskanen, Matt  PIT  27 $2,300,000
Nikitin, Nikita  CLB  27 $2,150,000
Butler, Chris   CGY  27 $1,700,000
Stralman, Anton  NYR  27 $1,700,000
Fraser, Mark  TOR  27 $1,275,000
Diaz, Raphael  MTL  27 $1,225,000
Fistric, Mark  ANA  27 $900,000
Prosser, Nate  MIN  27 $825,000
Schultz, Jeff  LAK  27 $700,000
MacDonald, Andrew  NYI  27 $550,000
Russell, Kris   CGY  26 $1,500,000
Fayne, Mark   NJD  26 $1,300,000

The five players in bold are playing top pairing minutes currently, however Markov, Phaneuf and Girardi are the only three I'd consider top pairing D-men. Tom Gilbert and Andrew MacDonald play lots of minutes on bad teams just like Petry in Edmonton. The Oilers can't sign Gilbert when they already have J.Schultz and Petry on the right side. They are all similar players. The Oilers need to diversify their blueline. They won't win with three non-physical right-handed D-men.

Phaneuf is the best UFA option. If he doesn't re-sign in Toronto he will get at least $7 mill/year for seven years. Phaneuf isn't a top-10 D-man in the league, but he is a legitimate first pair defender. If he is available, the Oilers will try and sign him.

Girardi is a very good #2 D-man. He doesn't bring any offence, so he can't be a true #1, but he is solid in his own zone.

Markov is turns 35 on Friday, and if he tests the free agent waters, I'm sure he will sign with a contending team. He only has a few years left to win a Stanley Cup.

MacDonald plays 26:16/game, but many in New York feel is he likely a #3 on a good team. He isn't very big or physical, but he'd be a major upgrade on N.Schultz, Potter or Larsen. He likely will get a deal worth $3.5-$4.5 million if he chooses the free agent route.

The odds of landing a top-pair D-man via free agency are slim, considering Phaneuf and Girardi are the only options, so MacTavish likely has to look at a trade to facilitate that position.

The names that some feel might be available include Tyler Myers, Zach Bogosian and Alex Edler. There would be others, depending on what or who MacTavish offers up in a trade, but if they do acquire a top pairing defender it will cost them one of Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov and possibly something more. ( I don't see them moving Hall or RNH).

OTHER OPTIONS...

There are some other names on the aforementioned list that would help the Oilers. They desperately need a big, strong defender like Matt Greene or Brooks Orpik. I doubt those two make it to free agency, but if the Oilers need to find a player similar to those two. They need some size in their bottom two pairings.

The Oilers might look at signing a veteran for to a one or two year deal, just so they don't have to rush Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom or Martin Marincin and play them more minutes than they are capable of handling.

Players like Derek Morris, Paul Ranger or Mark Stuart could be good stop gaps until those kids are ready to play more minutes.

You will notice that there are very few big, heavy D-men available. It is hard to find big D-men who are quick enough and savvy enough to play sound defensively and not get exposed by speedy forwards. The Oilers desperately need some size and strength on their backend, and while Nurse and Klefbom are big it would be asking a lot for a 19 and 20 year old to play significant minutes against men.

MacTavish needs to add a top-pairing D-man, but he'll also need to find at least three new D-men for next season. This isn't impossible. The Colorado Avalanche completely changed their blueline over the summer, and they are a much better team because of it.

Here is who they used last year, and who they are using this season.

2013 

Player  GP  G  A  P  +/-  TOI/G
Tyson Barrie 32 2 11 13 -11 21:34
Matt Hunwick 43 0 6 6 4 21:31
Erik Johnson 31 0 4 4 -3 20:45
Jan Hejda 46 1 9 10 -3 19:41
Greg Zanon 44 0 6 6 -16 19:19
Ryan O'Byrne 34 1 3 4 -8 18:51
Ryan Wilson 12 0 3 3 4 18:30
Stefan Elliott 18 1 3 4 -3 17:30
Shane O'Brien 28 0 4 4 0 15:30

2013/2014 

Player  GP  G  A  P  +/-  TOI/G
Erik Johnson 33 4 8 12 18 22:21
Jan Hejda 29 3 6 9 19 22:13
Andre Benoit 32 2 10 12 1 20:42
Nate Guenin 32 0 4 4 -2 18:31
Cory Sarich 31 1 8 9 7 17:49
Matt Hunwick 1 0 0 0 0 17:27
Tyson Barrie 19 1 4 5 2 17:25
Ryan Wilson 10 0 4 4 2 16:48
Nick Holden 13 2 3 5 -1 16:38

Johnson and Hejda are their top pair, which begs the question why Matt Hunwick and Tyson Barrie played more than them last season? Pretty easy to say Joe Sacco wasn't using the right guys.

The Avs have added Andre Benoit, Nate Guenin and Cory Sarich in place of Greg Zaone, Ryan O'Byrne and Hunwick. Barrie is now their #6 D-man, while Hunwick is in the American League.

The Avs weren't afraid to change their roster, and they didn't guarantee guys like Hunwick and Barrie jobs just because they played significant minutes last season. They went out and re-tooled their blueline. They didn't add big name players, but they got better players and their team is better because of if.

WRAP UP

It is painfully obvious that the Oilers need to improve their backend. Nick Schultz will be traded at the deadline, and the Oilers should say goodbye to Potter and Larsen. Belov's play has regressed and unless he has a solid second half, I wouldn't bring him back either.

MacTavish should be instructing his scouts to watch these UFAs closely, and find out which ones will help the Oilers improve. He has to improve his blueline over the summer, and the organization can't expect those spots to be filled with rookies. If they do, then the Oilers are in for another long season next year as well.

Do any of those name appeal to you? If so, who and why.

DAY 14...MONTH OF GIVING

Darrell bid $5,000 on our Eskimos dinner at Vons Steakhouse yesterday bringing our monthly total up to $53, 950. Awesome.

Today's packages include...

Package #1:

  •  A $1,000 Easton Hockey shopping spree at United Cycle.
  • Pair of club seats (sec 120, row 15) for Oilers vs. Canucks on January 21st.
     

Package #2:

Package #3:

  • A Party for 10 at the Druid Irish Pub. Includes food and four drinks for each person.
  • Two tickets to an exclusive Hot Stove with Jordan Eberle on January 22nd, hosted by ATB Financial. A great place to take your son or daughter to meet Eberle. Includes appetizers and food.

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance. All proceeds go to Santas Anonymous.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 **
December 18 2013, 01:24PM
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MAybe Elisha Cuthbert is feeling home sick and maybe Phaneuf wants to stick it to the flames. He's become the Shawn Horcoff of the leafs, so maybe he'll be willing to move. Other than him, no one in that list really catches my eye.

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#52 crobar
December 18 2013, 01:34PM
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LOIL99 wrote:

Not single d-man on Winnipeg should a 19 yo 1st overall pick be traded for, let alone him being the "starting point". Not a chance.

big buff isn't worth a first overall pick?? are you nuts?? 26+ mins. a game, and nearly a point per game?? how do you replace that? which oiler is worth that?? none really .(maybe hall) the jets made this mistake when they let odouya go thinking he could be replaced. i don't see them making the same mistake again. and make no mistake about it. man for man, a defenceman is more valuable. This is the biggest problem with oiler management, as they over value their players. they MAY have been able to get value for hemsky 2 or 3 years ago, now everyone can see how useless he really is. you can't give him away. wasn't this guy a sure fire blue chipper?? gimme a break!! which of these first round picks will turn out to be hemsky? as is, this team is going no where. perron is by far the best player on the team this year. what does that say??

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#53 HardBoiledOil
December 18 2013, 01:44PM
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all this talk of Niskanen and Lovejoy....we need top pairing d-men not more middle and bottom pairing. with Justin Schultz hopefully re-signing, Ference here, Petry here and perhaps Belov signing? we need top end guys. i know i mentioned Girardi in my previous post, and if we signed him, we wouldn't need to sign Belov, but the guys we need are guys like Shattenkirk, Phaneuf, Shat through a trade perhaps? and going hard after Phaneuf as well would add tremendously, yes tremendously! to the Oilers "D". and if one of Klefbom or Nurse were to make it, bonus!

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#55 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 03:07PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Your reading skills seem to be lacking. Show us where it said Greene would be in the first pair? Nice try though.

Yea. Not sure what that is about.

I have a separate question on this topic for you though.

Matheson has suggested several times that the Oilers are looking for a gritty, tough, clear the front of the net, D man (3rd pairing). Here's an example:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/11/wanted-by-edmonton-oilers-tough-mean-third-pairing-defenceman/

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/01/would-oilers-be-interested-in-la-defenceman-keaton-ellerby-off-waivers/

http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/sports/story.html?id=8b411abe-23c8-407f-8e66-d1e16a448198

What's curious about this, however, is that MacT passed on Peckham and Fistric in the summer and numerous other UFAs or trade opportunities and traded Smid.

I'm seriously wondering if MacT/Eakins actually want this player type.

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#56 A-Mc
December 18 2013, 04:10PM
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If this Ekblad guy is as good as people seem to think he is, i dont see how the Oilers can trade that first rounder..The return would have to blow our minds.

In all honesty, who isnt rooting for failure through next season! WE WANT MCDAVID

#PerpetualREBUILD

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#57 bazmagoo
December 18 2013, 04:24PM
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Girardi would be a great fit for the Oilers, but will be costly. Could totally see N Schultz and Belov being resigned, if they were both playing 3rd pairing minutes they could be effective. Plus both would likely be available at under $2 million. I just can't see the Oilers trading either unless someone comes knocking with a 2nd round pick at the deadline, but it's unlikely either would garner that level of interest in my opinion.

Philip Larsen will be moved though, agreed, and Potter will not be resigned. I'd even bet Justin Schultz could be moved at some stage as well, just a hunch.

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#58 BingBong
December 19 2013, 08:03AM
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I have no problem with the Smid trade; it was a basic salary dump. Smid has been the worst puck-mover we've had over the last two years; he seemed to be regressing every year. Every time he touched the puck it was either a giveaway within our zone or a turnover in the neutral zone.

That fact, combined with his overpriced contract over the next few years was why he was traded. MacT didn't wait because he was worried the chance to make the deal wouldn't come up again.

He was a good guy, good teammate, great shot blocker, but his physical play is overrated. Smid had trouble breaking up cycles just like everybody else on this team.

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#60 A-Mc
December 18 2013, 12:30PM
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Ducey wrote:

It's a little early to write off Belov. Dude has only played 35 games in a whole new world (new country, new language, new rink size, different game).

I think he has shown enough that he can play bottom pairing minutes pretty well - and he might move up the depth chart with more experience.

I'd sign him if I was MacT.

The Dion at $7 million x 7 years will be a mistake.

I agree. Belov was one of the few guys i noticed stapling a few LA guys to the boards last night. Not board shaking hits, just solid defensive stapling.. And that's a big part of what we need.

I'd re-sign Belov for another year

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#61 Dan the Man
December 18 2013, 12:35PM
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Remember when the Oilers used to be able to trade for defensemen like Pronger, Spacek, Jason Smith, Hamrlik, etc? Yeah those were good times. The crazy thing is that we didn't have to give up a whole lot in any of those deals. Why won't some GM just trade us their top D-Man for our garbage????!!!!!????

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#62 Dan the Man
December 18 2013, 12:40PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I'm a little surprised that P Larsen is someone who you do not see us moving forward with. He may not have the defensive stats to say he is a solid defenseman.......but by the eye he seems to be the only one who can make a decent first pass.

If this guy was paired with someone who could defend and someone with size his stats would change drastically. I for one can't see any other current defenseman we have being able to move the puck as efficiently as P Larsen. Both Petry and J.Schultz look nothing like they did........neither one can make a play right now........or have been instructed to scale back their offence??

We have let too many defenseman go who end up on some other team playing good hockey.......just maybe it's the coaching these players are receiving?

I kind of agree with you on Larsen. He's still pretty young for a defenseman and he definitely has skill. Ideally he would be playing in OKC this year but I think there is potential there.

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#63 ubermiguel
December 18 2013, 12:56PM
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Niskanen is really interesting to me. He plays with an edge and he's defensively sound (leading the Pens in +/- right now). Not a huge guy, and he's only playing 2nd pairing minutes, but's he's a upgrade for sure.

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#64 freelancer
December 18 2013, 12:56PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

You make some good points. I agree with your 3rd point on the packaging of prospects and draft picks for talent. If you look at what most people will say our biggest needs are. 1.) Size in our top 6 2.) Top defenseman,

I think one of those trades can be made by that kind of package. But I don't see us being able to acquire both without having to give up a top piece (one of the Top 4).

I think some people need to be prepared for us to "lose a trade" in order to bring in some pieces we desperately need.

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#65 Smokey
December 18 2013, 01:51PM
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I won't begrudge Belov leaving. The guy would thrive in the right system. Oilers should be locking him up.

I don't have a problem with Nick Schultz as a 6/7. He at least is a NHL defender. The Oilers need to find three NHL defenders. Unfortunately we gave one to the Lames in a knee jerk move for a current ECHL goalie and a undersized tweener centerman. What do expect from a brash talking inexperienced GM trying to make bold moves.

I see next year starting with Petry, Ference, Schultz, and hopefully Belov. Then we need two or three experienced NHL defenseman.

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#66 Lochenzo
December 18 2013, 01:53PM
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I think the Oilers are looking at a Tyler Seguin scenario where you have to move a young potential superstar for something more established but with less upside. Seguin is an immense talent but he was not the right fit in Boston. This year Seguin has been mentioned in Team Canada talk. It's not going to happen, but the fact that he's in the conversation is kudos for Seguin.

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#67 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 02:04PM
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camdog wrote:

There are a segment of the population that thinks that if you lose the best player in the trade you lose the trade, however sometimes it makes your team better. Case in point would be when the Ducks traded Bobby Ryan to the Senators. Many said they lost the trade, because they lost the best player, however as the results have shown Anaheim is the better "team" following the trade. Stanley Cup winning teams aren't comprised of an entire roster of All-Stars they are made up of components that lead to the best team.

That is one of the reasons that Team Canada stated Darnell Nurse didn't make the Junior squad. Same with the Olympic squad, Team Canada doesn't always pick the most talented players, they pick players that they believe will work good together as a team.

You can debate whether Team Canada is wrong all you want, but the best GM's in this country think this way.

I'm not sure the Ryan trade is the right trade to argue your point.

Are the Ducks a better team this year minus Ryan and plus Silfverberg (currently on the LTIR) and Noesen (playing in the OHL) and a 2014 pick?

Seems unlikely. I don't think 12 games of Silfverberg is what is making this year's Ducks so good.

Nor, does it make much sense to say that missing 12 games of Silfverberg is what is sinking the Sens.

Seems far more likely that a damn good team is still a damn good team. A team with such an embarrassment of riches that they traded top talent for a grab bag, which is (as I've noted) what typically happens.

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#68 TigerUnderGlass
December 18 2013, 02:05PM
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camdog wrote:

There are a segment of the population that thinks that if you lose the best player in the trade you lose the trade, however sometimes it makes your team better. Case in point would be when the Ducks traded Bobby Ryan to the Senators. Many said they lost the trade, because they lost the best player, however as the results have shown Anaheim is the better "team" following the trade. Stanley Cup winning teams aren't comprised of an entire roster of All-Stars they are made up of components that lead to the best team.

That is one of the reasons that Team Canada stated Darnell Nurse didn't make the Junior squad. Same with the Olympic squad, Team Canada doesn't always pick the most talented players, they pick players that they believe will work good together as a team.

You can debate whether Team Canada is wrong all you want, but the best GM's in this country think this way.

Perfect. Who's next.

Edit: I can't leave it at that.

You contend that Anaheim has a better record this year because of Silfverberg's 12 games? Is this correct? If not please reconsider your comment.

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#69 TigerUnderGlass
December 18 2013, 02:13PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I'm not sure the Ryan trade is the right trade to argue your point.

Are the Ducks a better team this year minus Ryan and plus Silfverberg (currently on the LTIR) and Noesen (playing in the OHL) and a 2014 pick?

Seems unlikely. I don't think 12 games of Silfverberg is what is making this year's Ducks so good.

Nor, does it make much sense to say that missing 12 games of Silfverberg is what is sinking the Sens.

Seems far more likely that a damn good team is still a damn good team. A team with such an embarrassment of riches that they traded top talent for a grab bag, which is (as I've noted) what typically happens.

Dammit Rom - now my timing looks messed up.

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#70 TigerUnderGlass
December 18 2013, 02:23PM
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camdog wrote:

Do you disagree with Team Canada's selection process as well?

Pretty strongly yes. I'm not unusual in that regard.

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#71 ??
December 18 2013, 02:28PM
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? wrote:

Phaneuf is an Edmonton kid, so maybe he would be open to joining the Oilers if he reaches free agency.

But that's just the thing. He has to reach free agency for the Oilers to get him. I consider the chances of Toronto not resigning him to be minuscule, so I don't expect him to open for the Oilers to negotiate with.

So is BIG JOHN SCOTT!!!

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#72 TigerUnderGlass
December 18 2013, 02:32PM
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camdog wrote:

Ya might not have been the best example, but at the same time it shows that trading away an elite goal scorer, hasn't reduced their ability to win hockey games. You can have all of the skill in the world, but that doesn't necessarily translate into wins.

Do you have even the slightest pretense at a real justification for any of this Ducks nonsense or are you just seeing win/loss + Ryan traded = good trade?

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#73 Fresh Mess
December 18 2013, 02:40PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I kind of agree with you on Larsen. He's still pretty young for a defenseman and he definitely has skill. Ideally he would be playing in OKC this year but I think there is potential there.

Greg Hawgood part 2. I don't mean that derisively, because I really enjoyed watching Hawgood play, but....

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#74 BingBong
December 18 2013, 02:44PM
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Ugh, reading this was depressing. So the only d-man we have signed beyond this year is Ference, and he's basically a #4 guy. The only RFA/UFA's worth keeping are Petry and Schultz, a #4 and #5. I don't see any UFA's on that list who could reasonably fill our top-pairing void who won't sign with their respective teams (Phaneuf).

Like someone mentioned above, times are tough when Larson is your only d-man who can make an outlet pass.

Our goaltending situation is just as bad. We have no goalie worth keeping beyond this year, and the only UFA worth going after is Hiller, who we'll have to overpay and how good is he really?

Can't wait to see what MacT does this summer, but there's no way we come close to the playoffs next year.

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#75 Big Cap
December 18 2013, 02:46PM
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Lets be honest here:

1. Does the Oiler management have the stones to make the block buster trade that would involve an Ebs, Yak or #1 pick?

2. More importantly, Do we as fans trust the Oiler management to make a trade that involves Ebs, Yak or #1 Pick.

Aside from Perron, practically every move we made this off season was below average to average at very best. They could not identify what skills we truly needed to fillout the roster. In fact we have taken a huge step backwards. MacT brought in Belov, Grebs, Ference,all wrong guys. Potter, N. Schultz should not have returned, and he traded away the heart and soul of the Blueline in Smid.

There is NO reason to believe that Oiler management and scouting can or will effectively make the correct trade to make us better.

But hey, the "rebuild" only started in "2010"...Just wait til next year!!

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#76 Guy Lafleur
December 18 2013, 04:14PM
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Cant tell me Boris Fistric wouldnt look better than what is back there now , should never have let him walk .

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#77 michael
December 18 2013, 04:38PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Teams that alwasy keep losing losing trade proven NHL players for prospects and picks, but have no one ready to fill their void.

Moving Smid now made no sense. Had they moved him when Marincin or Nurse was ready to step in then I could see it...Those two aren't ready to step in today, and are only maybes for next season.

Made sense to me. DD sucked. Labarbera sucked. No cap space due to poor signings of Grebby and Belov. Add Larsen and Potters one way deals and you get a recipe for that leaves MacT little or no room to sign IB. Had DD not answered MacT's question so resoundingly this season he would not have been forced to trade Smid's contract for cap room. Its a mixture of DD and underperforming contracts.

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#78 The Real Scuba Steve
December 18 2013, 05:11PM
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MacTavish should be instructing his scouts to watch these UFAs closely? No one wants come here we, have to make trades and force players to come here and hopefully they will like the city and organization. Doug Weight was an perfect example of this.

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#79 Time Travelling Sean
December 18 2013, 05:44PM
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Maybe MacT realized the season was lost and so traded Smid earlier than one usually would have to further depress our record to get a better return on our #1 pick.

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#80 Spoils
December 18 2013, 06:05PM
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@Ducey

Dion for $7M would be an unmitigated disaster.

The absolute sweet spot would be a true top D who is under 25 and will peak with the team.

How do you get Jonas Brodin, Seth Jones, Del Zotto (maybe), Roman Josi (maybe), or Ekman Larsson?

BOLD MOVE

Their choice of Yak or Eberle AND Gagner or Hemsky? Do we have to give more?

I love the idea of our D = Schultz, Klefbom, Nurse, Jones, and Petry at their primes

MacT then continues to make smooth moves like getting Perrons and Gordons, our remaining forwards hit peak age, and we add our final puzzle piece at the last moment - give up our next top draft pick (or two) for a true top goalie.

Bryz or whoever moves to backup and collects his ring for riding the pine.

BOOSH

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#81 TDSM31
December 18 2013, 08:06PM
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Bottom line is if we want the D man we're looking for it has to involve one of our top 3...my choice is Eberle. Obvious skills but he's the most one dimensional of our 'big guns'. Plus, we'll be getting a pretty skilled player to fill his spot in June. Let the Trashing commence!

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#82 Cynic
December 18 2013, 08:16PM
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Arguing over whether Edmonton or Winnipeg is the less-crappy city? That's funny.

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#83 sfsresfsfsffsf@yahoo.ca
December 18 2013, 08:19PM
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/sorry

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#84 HardBoiledOil
December 18 2013, 09:05PM
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hall the time wrote:

That's soooooo true.

no, it's not. now run along to bed.

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#85 G-Unit
December 18 2013, 12:09PM
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Attention Management: There is no way that Fedun isn't at least as good as Larson or Belov, so why don't we bring him up and see before he becomes a FRA. The team could send either down and no other team would look at picking them up off the waiver wire. And if some sucker is out there to take them all the better. He might not be better, but lets find out

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#86 LOIL99
December 18 2013, 12:11PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Based on the media coverage here in Winnipeg, Yakupov would be the starting point of that discussion. When you only have 2 players on the team (E. Kane and Setoguchi) who shoot the puck, a guy like Yakupov is worth a lot.

Edit: There's also no way they're parting with Byfuglien, so the top-end return from Winnipeg would be Toby Enstrom. Meh.

Not single d-man on Winnipeg should a 19 yo 1st overall pick be traded for, let alone him being the "starting point". Not a chance.

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#87 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 18 2013, 12:14PM
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LOIL99 wrote:

Not single d-man on Winnipeg should a 19 yo 1st overall pick be traded for, let alone him being the "starting point". Not a chance.

That's exactly what I'm saying. Winnipeg doesn't have the defensive depth to unload a guy like Enstrom without hitting a home run that addresses a team need.

The return would be underwhelming, and Yakupov is likely the only NHL player they'd be interested in, so Winnipeg is not likely to be a trading partner for NHL-level deals in the near future.

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#88 JB
December 18 2013, 12:15PM
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Or trade? Gagner/prospect for Kulikov/Matthias?

Out of this list Girardi or Greene look like targets - Phaneuf will likely resign with the Leafs. Don't see a LD that looks suitable. McDonald would be an upgrade I guess.

Just hope they don't rush Nurse, Klefbom or Marincin... but this is the Oilers. Nurse next year I guess.

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#89 Dog Train
December 18 2013, 12:17PM
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I've always felt like Dan Girardi is the kind of nuts and bolts, solid Dman that we could use as part of a solid top pairing. Phaneuf is incredibly overrated if you ask me. He can skate and brings some offense but he chases the big hit and is out of position quite often. He will get paid and whoever pays him will live to regret it but that's just my opinion.

We definitely need to get better on the backend. We need better defenders and we also need Dmen who are willing and able to shoot the puck. Ference is pretty much the only guy we have who is not afraid to throw the puck at the net even when he doesn't really have a clear look at the net. All the other guys just put the puck back in the corner so that forward line x can fail miserably at cycling the puck.

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#91 michael
December 18 2013, 01:10PM
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I like Ben Lovejoy. Tough as nails. 29ish and if the Oilers could he would come cheap. Good 5-6 guy.

Greene as a partner for Petry would make me happy but we've fubarred DL so often that he thinks were out to get him.

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#92 Hi, my name is ____ and I am an Oilers fan
December 18 2013, 01:12PM
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I know its been mentioned before, but in regards to trading Gagner I think we need to be concerned about the apparent verbal no-trade agreement MacT gave Gags. Its bloody hard enough to coax valuable UFA's to Edmonton without making it clear that the GM's word isn't worth the air he uses to give it. Which also doesn't include whatever honour MacT has in regards to upholding his word.

I like Gags, but unless we can sandwich him between two gritty, talented, and defensively responsible forwards (and on the second line - perhaps we could try to clone Perron) I don't see him as a fit on this team. I also tend to think he could be worth something in a trade with a team desperate for offence. However, the reported verbal no-trade really puts a damper on that IMO.

I wonder if there is some Perron-esque player we could target in a trade involving Eberle or Yak which could also net us a decent D (perhaps just a stop-gap until Nurse etc. arrive).

Thoughts?

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#93 **
December 18 2013, 01:28PM
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Hi, my name is ____ and I am an Oilers fan wrote:

I know its been mentioned before, but in regards to trading Gagner I think we need to be concerned about the apparent verbal no-trade agreement MacT gave Gags. Its bloody hard enough to coax valuable UFA's to Edmonton without making it clear that the GM's word isn't worth the air he uses to give it. Which also doesn't include whatever honour MacT has in regards to upholding his word.

I like Gags, but unless we can sandwich him between two gritty, talented, and defensively responsible forwards (and on the second line - perhaps we could try to clone Perron) I don't see him as a fit on this team. I also tend to think he could be worth something in a trade with a team desperate for offence. However, the reported verbal no-trade really puts a damper on that IMO.

I wonder if there is some Perron-esque player we could target in a trade involving Eberle or Yak which could also net us a decent D (perhaps just a stop-gap until Nurse etc. arrive).

Thoughts?

I think anyone with a grain of intelligence will understand if Mac T goes back on his word given where the team is at. I actually believe Mac T will get more respect and credibility if he moves Gagner than if he keeps it. It would show he is committed to building a winner.

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#94 Hall of a Player
December 18 2013, 01:45PM
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Kyle wrote:

The name that stands out to me in this list is Stephane Robidas. He plays big minutes, all three disciplines, and makes opposing forwards pay a price for carrying the puck into the zone. He would be a nice two year signing if he would come to Edmonton.

A good trade partner for the Oilers may be the Phoenix Coyotes. They have at least three defenders I'd like to see in blue, and would probably bite on a package including David Perron. That's right, I said it. I love the guy and what he has done for our team, but his value has never been higher. This would allow us to keep our core guys. Just don't be surprised, that's all.

I'd also really like to see Bryzgalov resigned in Edmonton. He wouldn't command a huge salary and that money can be better spent on a couple tough forwards. Think players along the lines of Brouwer and Clutterbuck who like to hit and can still shoot the puck.

IMO - Perron IS one of our core guys. Moving him out now would be a mistake.

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#95 Quicksilver ballet
December 18 2013, 02:08PM
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Even with capable NHL goaltending from Bryzgalov, the Oilers still lose 8 out of 10 nights. Its the vacancy on those #1 and 2 spots on the blueline that's killing the Oilers.

Only an idiot couldn't see this coming last summer. Plugging holes with 4 thru 8 guys has predictably failed miserably.

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#96 ?
December 18 2013, 02:13PM
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Phaneuf is an Edmonton kid, so maybe he would be open to joining the Oilers if he reaches free agency.

But that's just the thing. He has to reach free agency for the Oilers to get him. I consider the chances of Toronto not resigning him to be minuscule, so I don't expect him to open for the Oilers to negotiate with.

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#97 camdog
December 18 2013, 02:20PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

Do you disagree with Team Canada's selection process as well?

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#98 camdog
December 18 2013, 02:27PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Ya might not have been the best example, but at the same time it shows that trading away an elite goal scorer, hasn't reduced their ability to win hockey games. You can have all of the skill in the world, but that doesn't necessarily translate into wins.

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#99 TigerUnderGlass
December 18 2013, 02:29PM
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camdog wrote:

You also have to combine that with to whom they are now spending their budgeted dollars on. The money they redirected to other players has helped as well.

Maybe we can get a count.

Who believes the Ducks are a better team right now than they were last season because of the Bobby Ryan trade.

Please include some sort of explanation for your position.

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#100 cmandev77
December 18 2013, 03:24PM
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I would love for Edmonton to trade for John Carlson in Washington or Victor Hedman in Tampa. We definetely have the resources for a trade like this without giving away the farm. Big, young kids who play tons of minutes and in every situation. Would be a big step in improving our blueline...

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